Arguments that a convicted killer who shot a city code officer dead in 2005, suffered from severe mental illness, failed to stop Texas from executing another death row inmate this month.
Adam Ward, 33, became the fifth prisoner to be executed this year on March 22. He was sentenced to death for the killing of a Commerce city code officer who was inspecting piles of garbage at Ward’s former home.
Ward was pronounced dead at 6:34 p.m. after he was given a lethal injection at the state’s death chamber in Huntsville. The state of Texas, has executed more offenders than any state since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976.
Ward’s attorneys filed an appeal to halt the execution, arguing he suffered from severe mental illness. They said delusions of paranoia and a bipolar condition led to the killing of the inspector.
However, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the appeal two hours before the execution.
Commerce is about 65 miles north of Dallas. City code officer Michael Walker had been called out to inspect a heap of rubbish that Ward and his father had left at their home, the Texas Attorney General’s office said. The family was also accused of hoarding guns.
When Walker approached the property and took photographs, Ward sprayed him with a hose he was using to wash his car, and then argued with the official, according to prosecutors.
Ward went into the house to get a gun, and shot Walker, who was 46. Prosecutors said he shot the inspector again at close range. He sustained nine gunshot wounds in total.
Ward later confessed to killing Walker saying he believed the city was after his family and was going to tear down their home, according to reports.
Although the number of executions in Texas has declined in recent years it still outstrips other states.
Politico reported on how the modern era of the death penalty began in 1977 when a Supreme Court decision allowed Gary Gilmore to be killed by firing squad. More than one-third of those who have been executed since died in Huntsville, Texas – the nation’s busiest execution chamber.
The use of the death penalty has declined in recent years as it has been undermined by botched lethal injections in states like Oklahoma and a worldwide shortage of the lethal injection drugs. If you are charged with a serious offense such as a homicide, it’s important to hire experienced criminal defense lawyers.